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Free Speech for Me, but not for Thee

It seems that some of our friends on the right are demanding that CBS fire Stephen Colbert because, among other things, his latest monologue about 45 was “homophobic”. These people have no sense of irony.

It has been only a few day since these same people were condemning the University of California for abridging Ann Coulter’s right to free speech, yet here they are, not only pretending to care about homophobia (Colbert was, in fact, not homophobic) but seeking to, by their recently professed opinions, seeking to deprive Colbert of his right to free speech.

But, I must be fair. Their demand that Colbert be fired is no more a denial of his right to free speech as was the student opposition to Coulter, or the boycotts that led so man advertisers to abandon Rush Limbaugh. Coulter has just as much right to spread her lies as Colbert does to spread his truths (and his truthiness, can’t forget that), but neither has the right to demand a forum provided by a third party in which to speak. CBS has the right, should it wish to do so, to fire Colbert for his statements, and his first amendment rights would not be infringed in any way. It will doubtless not do so, since he’s giving the audience what it wants. It might be different if the pressure was coming directly from the White House, in which case there would be some First Amendment concerns. Nonetheless, it’s richly ironic that a group of people who get their news from Fox, Limbaugh and Infowars are demanding Colbert’s head because he said something they characterize as homophobic. The real problem, of course, is that he scored some direct hits on 45. The American right has no monopoly on hypocrisy, but they make everyone else that dabbles in it look like amateurs.

As a public service, I am embedding the offending video below. Speaking of richly ironic, it is supremely ironic that if we survive this administration, we may owe that survival to the comedians, which reminds me, if you haven’t watched Jimmy Kimmel’s monologue about his new born son, you should do so here.

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